Monday, August 17, 2009

Musings From A Muddled Mind - DFW to San Diego

As I was jotting notes for my first detailed “Trip Report” I noticed that I was keeping a running tally on updates and events exactly as they unfolded. Therefore, mixed in with general rambling thoughts at the same moment, here is the story of American Airlines Flight 1505 on Friday, August 14, 2009.

The pic includes my first sighting of a "blended wing" 767. The MD80 on the left is going to Mexico City while on the right is Puerto Vallarta. Mine is behind the jetbridge, broken as you please.

1345 – Car wreck less than a mile from the office on the way to the airport. Uh oh.
1415 – Check in fast and friendly. Had my bag tag ready before I even got to the counter.
1420 – Security equally fast and efficient but what’s up with the new air puff machines? It felt like air loogies being hocked all over my body.
1530 – Departure? Mechanical. Gate D29, and MD-80. At D28 was AA#1211 to Cancun, a 757. Whaddya bet they leave first?
1605 – The 4:30PM “departure” is now a 4:30PM “decision!” They’ll let us know. AA#50, a 777, is four gates down and will undoubtedly leave before us as well. Included with the “decision” was the disclosure that they were searching for an alternate aircraft.

Oh well: I don’t have to be in the office until Monday.

1613 – Cancun is oversold and they need one, no, two volunteers to come off the plane. Each volunteer gets $800, hotel and meals in Dallas. If they have to resort to “involuntary” passengers, how do they decide who stays behind?

1644 – Jet bridge pulls back on AA#50, right on schedule. Don't I wish!
1648 – Cancun’s problems seem solved; their bridge is pulling back, too. My flight is now 5:30PM.

Four year old “Evan, not Adam” climbed over the back of the chair next to me to introduce himself before his older sister dragged him away.

1710 – 1st disclosure of the actual problem. It’s an oil leak in Engine #2. Still working on it.
1714 – Young Mr. “Evan, not Adam” is playing peacefully in the floor at the feet of his family. He’s aggressively “coloring” a Sesame Street book, doing his best to burn off steam. His older sister is leaning against the window and working on her Girl-Pink laptop.
1717 – The coloring book diversion has run its course. “Evan, not Adam” is climbing on the window braces about three feet off the ground, alternating between them and his mother for monkey bars.
1727 – I’m back from my third trip to the restroom, trying to be able to stay seated for the 3-hour flight. I have lost at least two productive hours at the office I could have used.
1800 – The newest departure time is right now. Nada.
1806 – Time for comfort food – Mickey D’s fries!
1820 – NOW they hand out meal vouchers!

1910 – We have a new plane down at D22 but, predictably, no one in sight to meet and park the thing.
1935 – Pre-boarding for San Diego! “Evan, not Adam” is riding his mother’s laptop roller-bag, about as done for the day as he can be.
1955 – Everybody on, all ready to go.
2003 – Push back.

Somewhere between Texas and Arizona:
The flight attendants were poised, polite and charming. Open bar, too.
“Steve” is the soldier on the aisle who loves his girl, his son, golf and all things Korean. “Mike” is in the middle seat and enjoys the surprise of talking to someone else (me) who knows New Zealand very well. His lady fair is an Islander by way of Auckland. We trade these and, of course, “Drunk Buddy” stories to pass the time, including an instant classic about “Steve” having lost all memory of the night before and waking up on a curb in Japan!

“Let them figure out whether or not you were already in the country,” Mike and I clap gleefully.

I need to get business cards to hand out to people about my website, I muse. This was a golden opportunity.

2043 – Touchdown!
2101 – First bag on the carousel.
2104 – Mine pops up from the netherworld below. All is finally right in San Diego.

Gotta go!

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